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Authorities tighten surveillance along Belize, Mexico border in bid to avoid coronavirus

Rio Hondo, Belize — Belize police will maintain a permanent presence in the Rio Hondo river area of the Belize-Mexico border after two incidences this week involving Mexican nationals. Surveillance has been tightened along the border area for fear of coronavirus infection after four Mexican nationals were found in the territory.

On Thursday, an undocumented Mexican national was found in the country, having entered illegally. He was taken to a Belize quarantine house.

Earlier in the week, three Mexican nationals were discovered by Belize Coast Guard fishing after accidentally crossing into Belize territory. The trio of men were quarantined while waiting for coronavirus test results, however, they escaped. Both Belize and Mexican officials continue to search for the three, who are originally from Xcalac, a town south of Mahahual.

Those entering Belize illegally often do so via the Mexican community of Álvaro Obregón Viejo by crossing the river. It is one of the most widely used crossings for smuggling purposes. The increased security comes after Police Commissioner Chester William visited the known smuggling access point in the Corozal district. To date, the country has only had 18 reported coronavirus cases and two deaths.